…see how small and how fragile the Earth is

 
Lift-off for woman space tourist
 
Anousheh Ansari
Ms Ansari replaced a Japanese businessman on the trip
Shuttle launch
The first woman space tourist has blasted off on a Russian Soyuz rocket from Baikonur in Kazakhstan.
The mission is carrying Iranian-born businesswoman, Anousheh Ansari, along with a fresh crew for the International Space Station (ISS).
Ms Ansari, a 40-year-old US citizen, is thought to have paid at least $20m (£10.6m) for the mission.
Lift-off took place at 1010 local time (0410 GMT) and the Soyuz has entered orbit successfully, officials said.
The mission is expected to reach the ISS on Wednesday.
The Atlantis shuttle, which undocked from the ISS on Sunday, is expected to land back on Earth on Wednesday.
‘Fragile Earth’
Ms Ansari is accompanying Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin and US astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, who will join German astronaut Thomas Reiter on the station.
She is the fourth space tourist.
Ahead of lift-off Ms Ansari said she was an ambassador for attracting private investment into space programmes.
Ms Ansari, who made her fortune in telecoms, also said the trip would put the planet into perspective.
"You’ll see how small and how fragile the Earth is compared to the rest of the universe. It will give us a better sense of responsibility."
On the ISS, Ms Ansari will carry out experiments on back pain for the European Space Agency.
Ms Ansari replaced Japanese businessman Daisuke Enomoto, who dropped out due to unspecified medical reasons.
Cosmonaut Tyurin said Ms Ansari had been "very professional" in her training.
Ms Ansari will return on 28 September with two other space station occupants.
The returning Atlantis crew has seen the addition of two massive solar panel wings for the station’s power generation.
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